Townsend Has To Play Origin: Ross
City Origin centre Nathan Ross says he has the perfect solution for the Blues' Origin halves conundrum: premiership-winning Sharks halfback Chad Townsend.
The idea has merit; Townsend's club halves partner James Maloney is a sure-fire bet for Blues duty this year and Townsend is in excellent club form.
He was also the best playmaker on ground in his team's 20-10 win over Country in Mudgee on Sunday by a wide margin, outplaying Country halves Tyrone Roberts and Cody Walker with a series of pinpoint kicks.
Ross says it's more than just his current form or his combination with Maloney though after being blown away by the Yarrawarrah Tigers junior's professionalism through a week in camp with him.
"This week has been such a good experience for a lot of us and we all wanted to put our best foot forward to show that we're up for Origin," Ross told NRL.com after the game.
"One player in particular who I think should be there no matter what is Chad Townsend.
"I haven't heard Chad's name tossed up too much for the halves but he's won a premiership now, he's taken City to the last-ever City-Country victory. He's one bloke if I was a selector would be in my sights.
"I learned a lot from [Townsend] this week. Chad helped settle me a lot and spoke to me through the week."
Those lessons he learned from Townsend, among others, would hopefully help Ross boost his club form when he returns to Newcastle.
"I'm going to take back what I've learned here... That's going to through actions, whether it's catching the ball out in front and passing crisply but everything I've learned from these elite players is everything's done crisp, everything's done at a high intensity through a whole training session," Ross said.
"That's something I haven't experienced before. I was passing the ball with Chad Townsend and we were doing side-to-side passes and 'Freddie' (City coach Brad Fittler) came past and said 'mate, we're elite machines, here we go faster than that'.
"Chad stepped it up and then it took me a couple of seconds to adjust then once I realised that's the level we need to be at, that's the level that I trained at and that's the level I'm going to take back to Newcastle and hopefully keep playing well for Newcastle."
The other player Ross said was a sure thing for the Blues was impressive prop James Tamou, who was best on ground with 209 metres, 27 tackles, three offloads and a try and set the tone for City's win.
"He did show his class, every single run was lethal, he was an enforcer in defence, came up with offloads. James Tamou was an absolute weapon," Ross said.
This article first appeared on NRL.com